Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a solution designed to provide a secure connection between two parties over an untrusted network. Traffic is encrypted at one end of the connection and decrypted at the other.
This technology can be used for a variety of different purposes. Some common use cases include:
- Secure telework: Remote workers will use a VPN to securely access the corporate network over their home network and the public internet. This enables the teleworker to easily access internal corporate resources and have all of their internet-bound traffic scanned by the corporate cybersecurity solutions.
- Linking sites: VPN endpoints located within two remote sites and connected by a VPN tunnel essentially merge the two networks. Since no traffic between the sites passes over the public internet — at least not in an unencrypted fashion — it is possible to use private IP addressing when communicating between the two sites.
In order for VPNs to be effectively used in these ways, they need to be capable of protecting the data that they carry against eavesdropping and modification. This is why cryptographic algorithms are a vital component of a VPN.
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